Summer bass fishing presents many challenges. The bass are difficult to find, but once you do you can have a great day on the water. The problem lies in finding the bass in the first place. Summer bass fishing presents many additional factors that we don’t have to deal with in the winter or cooler months. Summer heat, jet skiers, water skiers, and pleasure boats will all test your patience.
I try to avoid populated water ways during big holidays; however, this last Memorial Day I just couldn’t resist and had to go fishing. It actually wasn’t too horrible, and I enjoyed some time on the water with family and friends. I think a large part of why I was able to enjoy it, was the fact that I went into the weekend knowing it was going to be crowded. My expectations were not high, which made for a great day when they were met.
Keeping cool and hydrated will help you enjoy your day. If the heat gets to you, the annoyance of the pleasure boaters will be worse. If you’re having trouble finding the bass, compounded with the irritation of excessive wakes and rude boaters, your day on the water will be memorable; but, not a pleasant memory. Staying hydrated will help you keep a clear head. This helps you analyze what the bass are doing and will lead you to that hot spot quicker. A clear head can keep you out of trouble when those annoying water rodents come screaming by, or that water skier comes a little close to you.
It never fails, a water skier will come past you within casting distance; the boat driver will always smile at you while the people scattered throughout the boat wave. I for one don’t find this very amusing and usually mumble a few choice words to myself, while resisting the urge to display the universal symbol associated with my current feelings of frustration.
While visiting with a good friend over a camp fire the other night, we were discussing some of the things we’ve done to get even. Everything from running the boat down and giving them a piece of our mind, to casting large baits with large hooks at them while they went by. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s not nearly worth the trouble. While it’s a shame, in today’s world you never know what you’re running into when you catch up with these people. It’s safer to let an irritating situation roll off without confrontation versus getting caught up with an idiot that may be unstable from drinking.
Along with being safer, we as anglers have an image we should all be presenting. My good friend explained that, this last weekend he almost let a water skier get the best of him. After several passes that were continually getting closer and closer, he was ready to unload on the boat driver. However, since he was wearing a tournament jersey and not only representing bass fisherman, but his sponsors as well, he chose to pack it in for the day.
It’s the summer; we don’t own the water, but a little respect of each other sure would be appreciated. When skiers are getting so close to you as an angler that it’s getting dangerous, one of two things is happening. One, this driver has no clue, or two you or bass anglers as a whole have made this driver made in the past, and he’s picked you to get even.
I see nothing wrong with flagging down a driver of this nature and educating him. A calm brief explanation of the facts, the size of the lake, and the dangers that are present when driving so close to a sitting boat may be in order. Some might take this as a learning experience, some might take it as offensive; however, either way you tried to educate them.
To be honest, I’ve done this and had it go both ways. Some people just don’t realize that it’s dangerous and or that it’s detrimental to our fishing success. Other boaters simply don’t care and believe they have the rights to any part of the lake just as much as the anglers do. When a boater gets upset over an education discussion, don’t argue, simply smile and wave.
If you’re up for it, the next time you feel your being harassed on the lake, take a minute and try and wave the boat driver over. If he takes a minute to come see what you have to say, maybe he’ll be receptive. However, If he’s not, at least you disrupted his day on the water just like he has yours.
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